Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Weight Loss Tip #1

With so many people overweight in this country, I thought I'd start some postings on how to lose weight.  One of the most important tips for weight loss is movement.  You cannot sustain weight loss without movement.  Moving increases your metabolism and burns calories. (If you haven't exercised in a while, please check with you doctor.)  When I was in college, I became addicted to sweets, probably due to stress, and put on 20 pounds in one year.  I then became depressed.  I went to the college's psychiatrist, who on my first visit prescribed anti-depressants.  I never filled the prescription and instead did my own research.  I read that exercise can work as an anti-depressant so I took up jogging because all I could afford was a pair of running shoes.  Within a short period of time, I was no longer depressed and started losing weight.  This is without changing my diet. Actually, jogging decreased my desire for sweets somewhat because it increased my energy level.

A year later I started strength training due to an injury.  I noticed I could eat more and not gain weight.  Why? Strength training increases your metabolism more than just aerobic exercise alone.  Without going into a scientific explanation, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body will burn even at rest.  Did you ever notice how men seem to lose weight easier than women?  Well, that is the reason.  More muscle mass.  So the first step to weight loss is exercise.  Aerobic exercise for 30-60 minutes 3-4 times a week and strength training 30-60 minutes 2-3 times per week, depending on what you can handle.  If that's too much, start with 15 minutes, just start.

Remember, do not start an exercise program without your doctor's approval, especially if you are overweight and haven't exercised for a while.  If you have any questions or comments, please write them in the comment section and I will respond within 24-48 hours.

Image: Andy Newson /

In Health Always! :) 


Sonya Gritten said...

I've been trying to keep my weight down for a few years now. I know that I should exercise more but I just can't find the time. How can I incorporate exercise into my daily routine?

Donna said...

Unfortunately, it is impossible to keep your weight down without exercise so it needs to be a priority. You need to find the time. I have a treadmill and dumbbells (8, 10, and 15 pounds should be sufficient) at home. Buying these products are cheaper than most club memberships. That way I don't waste time driving somewhere. If that's not practical, you can get a good DVD with half hour workouts for aerobics and one for strength building. You can get up one half hour earlier in the morning. Do your workout before breakfast. Just have a glass and water and start. Also do things you enjoy. A couple of mornings a week I play tennis for an hour. I walk my dogs one morning a week. Treadmill and weights take up the other days. I also tried Body for Life 12 week program. See the link for Shop above and click on Health and Fitness store then Weight Loss for the book and other products. It requires 20 minutes three mornings per week for aerobics (you need a treadmill) and about 40 minutes 3 mornings per week for weights (need dumbbells). Building muscles increases your metabolism even when you are not exercising. Aerobics burns calories only when you are doing it but is important for heart health. Good luck and keep me posted on how you do.

Sonya Gritten said...

Thank you for answering. I love your ideas. I do own a treadmill, but I haven't really used it much since I got it. I'll be sure to try to use it more. I think I have some dumbells in the garage too, gathering dust.
What's your opinion of yoga? Do you think it is affective? Thanks.

Donna said...

Sonya, Time to get the dust off the equipment and use it? I think yoga is excellent for improving strength and flexibility. Anyone who thinks yoga is for wimps has not done yoga. I love yoga but I have a more difficult time sticking to it because I do it at night mostly when I'm tired. If you want some good DVDs, Rodney Yee is great. My favorite is his "A.M. and P.M. Yoga" It has two 20 minute workouts that can be done at anytime not just A.M. or P.M. I like them because they are short. Click on the SHOP link at top of page, then Health and Fitness Cafe store and then the Yoga page. I have that one and his "Yoga for Beginners".